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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 19, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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from 2008, the value of higher education in america. and from 2009, conservative commentator coming up, q-and-a at 10:00, a decade of compelling conversations. >> next, c-span's interviews congressman dave comp and california congressman buck mckeon. after that, president obama and theabout cuba recent sony cyberattack in his end of the year news conference. the chair of the ways and means congressman dave camp, is retiring. he's represented michigan's district for 12 terms, 24 years. had erecently talked with c-span on his time in congress, his efforts to change the tax code and how a former president helped him get on the ways and means committee. he also talks about his cancer
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diagnosis two years ago. this is about 30 minutes. >> house ways and means committee chairman dave camp. closing hourson on congress. in your time here, you've had something of a singular focus for tax reform, tax overhaul. you're leaving congress without why not? >> well, when i became chairman four years ago, i knew that we about thisomething policy that had expired. it then we retroactively put in place. we're the only nation in the world that let's its tax policy expire. so my first hearing was on tax reform. you're right. i spent really three years -- i put out a discussion draft on taxes innational october 2011. and then obviously created groups, morerking than 35 hearings, really to get families,input from businesses, stakeholders. but, you know, these are big things to move. had a good partner this the
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senate with senator baucus. traveled the country together to highlight different parts of code.x a lot of the members got involved. but unless you have a president who is involved in something not really going to move too far. but i thought it was very important to push. it's a debate this country needs to have. with edon't have the kind of -- we don't have the kind of growth in our economy, we don't have the kind of job creation or the kind of growth in incomes that absolutely need to have. so it's a debate we need to have in america. i think the step now is the treasury department and administration need to come up with their detailed plan. the process.t of they've seen everything we've done. they now need to come forward, if they -- if the president does want to actually grow the revenue toing more the government and higher incomes to people, this is one do so i think it will happen. it just didn't happen on my watch. that make yous
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feel, really, since it was so important to you? again.uld do it i mean, i think it is so important to try to push this issue forward. start.y had to and people said to me, it's too complicated. it can't be done. it can beed them done. that's really the most important thing. the second most important thing we gotme out of this is dynamic scoring of a tax bill for the first time. dynamic scoring is a much more real world evaluation of what we're trying to do. typically, tax bills had been scored by what they call static is just theyh assumed that the economy would even no matter the tax policy changed, and they assumed that people wouldn't behavior as a result of tax policy. we know that didn' isn't true. it to physics where they tell you assume there is no gravity. and you go outside and there is gravity. this dynamic scoring will be absolutely critical moving on any debate involving
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economic or tax policies, because we're actually know, it create jobs? can labor and employment and investment grow at the same time? and so not only did the joint committee on taxation evaluate economy, underhe my bill, which is now h.r. 1, by 20%, other outside entities were able to score this and now h.r. 1 and say, yes, it would grow. groups and think tanks and we had a university they, they confirmed what nonpartisan joint committee on taxation did. good things were accomplished by this, even though it didn't get all the way line.o the goal i'd liken this to a car analogy. this is the chassis. the taillightse and grill, but the car is going to have a chassis and this what i thinkally will be used going ahead. >> will you explain a little bit symbolism of h.r. 1 and
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also the fact that you formally congressd it just as is about to go away. >> i always said it was a discussion draft. we wanted to get input and that's what we did. i also thought it was important to use that h.r. 1 designation theh the speaker gave me at beginning of this congress, which really says this is a priority bill. and i thought it was very moving forward that it wasn't just a discussion draft, congresses and in future years, it's actually referred to as h.r. 1. a bill, not just a draft. too much work went into it, i think, to get let it just sort of fade as a draft. it needed really to get that introduction. to thet we're getting end of this congress, i thought the timing was right to do that. didn't have much time left so -- >> gotta make the most of what you have! though you knew it was a symbolic measure, what was it like standing there and introducing it today? >> it was very exciting. it yesterday.
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it really was sort of the culmination of the evident of not just me but the entire was involved. many members on the committee they verysides said much really found the process. and that's what we came here to do. we came here to legislate. we came here to do things. and i think, particularly my party needed to be the party of opportunity. we were in the majority in the house. we needed to be the party of ideas. debate not afraid of a on ideas. i think those are what we were sent here to do, not just there and hope you win. >> the process that you just that you worked through with your own members on both sides of the aisle and also democrat,or bawn baucus, a runs counter to the popular image in washington today. >> right. you an anomaly in this evident or is there -- in this more of this in bipartisan effort that the public needs to know about? ani think it was a bit of
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anomaly. senator baucus, then chairman of the senate finance committee, my counterpart in the senate, he and i had the first joint hearing with house and and means committee and senate finance members after worldce just war ii. long time since we'd gotten together on issues. and that, i thought, was an anortant move to make, important symbolic move as well as an important legislative move. whatever i did wouldn't pass unless the senate was involved too. thought it was i very important to do that. the larger rank and file or even within your own conference, did you find people really weren't happy that you were working with the other side? >> well, some people were afraid was too controversial, that you'd make some people mad. and clearly there are trade-offs. we did was simplify the tax code. not haveericans would
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to itemize. they would file the two-page 1040. have to keept records, because they're getting the standard deduction. on the business side, we modernized international tax $2 trilliond the that was overseas to come back without the double penalty that took the dollars repateation and used that to fund infrastructure. trade-offs. be there had to be certain provisions that weren't there anymore. be tooat would controversial. i don't think that's really something that should have driven the whole debate. really were afraid to get involved. what i found is people were just so grateful that we were trying to make things better. they know the code is complicated. we're out of date in terms of our competitors. they know we need to make changes there.
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and so what was important, and the discussion really actually is nott of evolve there, just what the provision is that might not be there anymore, or altered, but what does it mean in the context with a growing economy? that's why it was so parent to get that dine -- important to get that dynamic score. the narrowt provision in the context of the entire bill and our economy. that was a very different prospect. or example, to an employer businessman that came in that said we don't like what you're doing to our stuff, you could say, but more jobs are going to be created. havepeople are going to higher incomes. our bill said about 1500 a year income would increase. big turnaround on that. more people could buy cars. more people could buy houses. more people could give to charity. charitable contributions would billion, because if
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people are working, they're giving money. to put not just the issue -- which, they are important issues -- but to put in context of a bigger picture. without dynamic scoring, putting bigger context just doesn't happen. that's what was different about this debate, and that will be going forward. >> speaking of going forward, if i understand the quotes paulctly, your successor, ryan, has said that your legislation will not be the be arint but it will marker, so you've chosen to leave. and your chairmanship was up for term limits. does that make you feel? do you plan to be the blueprint for -- all, paul ryan is on the ways and means committee. he's the incoming chairman, so he'll be succeeding me. he was part of putting that plan together, so he knows it very well. and look, a new committee, a new congress, they're going to look
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at things in a different way. did learn things through that process that you might adjust. and because revenue to the government went up $700 billion you could make, some different trade-offs. you could lower rates more, use to pay down debt, adjust some provisions -- the provisions i make. so what he's saying is we're going to take a look at this. we're a new committee. congress. i am convinced that he is going to draw very heavily on the work because heen done, did some of it. termw did chairmanship limits look to you now that you're really succumbing to them? change anything. the wrinkle this time was that time as ranking member counted in the six-year term limit, so i was actually years, ranking member two. and when term limits for '95, whenent in, in speaker gingrich came in, it was
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six years in the majority. i think it should still be six in the majority. i think counting time as ranking very different prospect. but look, it is what it is. i was very glad i had two years member, because it actually helped many edevelop the staff, the -- helped me the policy staff, positions, to be ready for the majority. i was going toat get into the majority. so i consider myself fortunate to have the four years i have and really honored to be able to position.hat >> chairman mckeon suggested that roleto see change also. do you think it's possible? >> i don't see it changing. >> and why not? >> first of all, whenever somebody leaves, somebody else moves up. more people move up than leave. so i think it's very unlikely it would change. that itt see a change counts for the majority. that you could see, because it was kind of an informal change that the speaker made to have it
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include ranking membership. hasn't been a debate in the conference on that. but fewer members are chairman than are rank and file members and everybody who is rank and file want ts to be a chairman. >> sure. so tax issues in ways and means yourttee was the fantasti focuf entire te tenure in congress. awonder if you would tell story for our cameras about your lobbying to get the seat on the even involves president ford. >> well, it did. i knew i wanted to get on the ways and means committee. worked hard on adoptioneform and adoptionishes issues and trade issues. at that time, the steering was called committee on committees, so you knew you were in a government process. it really is a campaign. about the votes on that committee who determines who gets a seat on a committee like ways and means committee. so you're talking to every member on that committee. there's a particular member that wasn't for me.y and i just didn't know what to
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do. and just sort of out of the dialed president ford's office in california in di. >> did you know him? times.d met him several i wasn't sure if he knew me. but i knew him. he got on the phone and said, dave! how are you? then he said i used to be leader. andbody owes me a favor, i'll make a call. he did. and that person came to me on said anybody who can get a former president of the united states to call me, i'm for. changed his vote and was for me, and i did get on ways and means committee and i told that story also once. i'm not sure she cared. really a changing moment for me. he was very gracious. the fact that he was in his when iand took the call, had not scheduled the call. i literally called him out of blue, as a -- it was very much a hail mary pass in >> probably helps that you were
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a michigan congressman. >> that always helps. >> from the time you've arrived ine, you've experienced life the minority and in the majority. i'm wondering if you can the two for compare people and what the experience is, when you've got the power, want to fet get it back again. >> i'm in the minority, majority. so i grew up in a small town, in a big family. we were always taught the golden rule, which is treat others the way you want to be treated. way.ays tried to act that i know when we took the 3450r9 y suchirst time, it had been a permanent minority. there was a sense we'd never get there. longer-serving republicans, it was really payback time and i think that was a huge mistake. some did that. it, i don't think that,was as much of because we'd been the majority
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not nearly as long. but there was still some of that. was very convinced that when we took the majority this time, that that was not going to be agenda at all. i think you really want to be the majority as you are in the minority, and treat your colleagues the same way. lothe majority, you get a more responsibility. you get to help set the agenda. you have a lot more people come when you're in the majority than when you're in the minority. so it's a different prospect. just very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve in a majority, because there were some people, including our leader, bob michael, who never had an opportunity to serve in the majority. >> i remember. he was leaving, the symbolic handing of the gavel, which is first time he held it after all those years. yeah. you've also had the opportunity serve under and work with a number of speakers since you arrived here. a successful speaker? >> i served for five speakers. obviously three majority
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speakers, for republicans. everyone has their own style. and the institution changes. and i think it doesn't stay the same. and i think particularly speaker gingrich was very interested in how everything was operating and running. and i think his -- i mean, i remember sitting in his room with big stacks of papers, you know, debating a bill.s in i mean, that was just very much his style. extent, speaker hastert did that as well. our majority was so narrow in the time with speaker hastert, much more narrow than it is now, really affected the way he was able to lead. was often seeing members all the time. i would say because speaker a committeebeen chairman, he really has let the committees do their work. tax reform, he was
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not looking over my shoulder and intervening on this paragraph and that paragraph. he really did let the committee work, and that process had integrity. changed aally has lot. obviously, committee chairman term limits came in '95. so when i came in, speaker foley, the chairman were much powerful. you had dan, no term limits. he had been chairman of the ways for a longommittee time. jack brooks. so it was a different role for than as it is now. i think speaker pelosi was a as wellerful speaker and is a very powerful leader. so that has sort of changed over sort of power from the committee has moved to some extent to leadership. i think speaker boehner has work.nly let us do our you obviously try to work with leadership because you need bills.elp passing i'm not the whip. i don't schedule bills. so clearly in today's to makeent, you want
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sure you're in close touch with your leadership. but i feel very fortunate that they have not really sort of directed me in great detail what to do. were -- i'll use the phrase king of the hill, for a short period of time and could wayge anything about the this place functions to make it work better than it has, what be?d it >> boy, that's a tall order. i think we really do need to make sure that the members are involved in issues, you know. i think that's one thing that i of thetook out experience i had on tax reform, is there's this thirst for it's in both bodies, because i met with a number of senators, senator baucus. we did these informal lunches, members, justouse sort of talking about issues. there's just not enough of that. committee process works if it's done the right realwhere there's actually debate and you try to move a bill through it. that. think more of
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i think the other thing i'd change is let's not be afraid of issues. got sent here to do things. let's have the public debates and let's try to move them forward. >> what's changed that? the money? the polling? cable television? changed the fear of debating issues? sort of the way media has changed. so misstatement now can be dispositive of an election or an issue. there was less of that when i got started 24 years ago. it didn't mean if you didn't wasn't awful, it but now, i think sort of the short video piece that can be a fewer the world in seconds, i think that does ofibit the ability to sort engage in public debate sometimes. i think town meetings have changed dramatically. they're not as sort of open and activists thatof come to those now. i think that's why a lot of
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the telephone town hall meetings, those truly are get on the happen to phone, it's very much more a real cross-section of what people are thinking. there's been a lot of changes. i think probably, you know, make that -- the other change is really not about the committees, needs tonk congress assert its role more. i think sometimes, particularly later years, we tend to see advocate for the party that's in the less so of,on, much you know, where are the congressional prerogatives and what's correct? think that has evolved really in sort of the last couple of presidents much more than it was before. you had much more -- this was right thing to do, and you had a group of people in the congress that would come together on that. that has changed. if i could change one thing, it
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>> some of the older, longer tenured members we've talked to lament the schedule which has sent people home most weekends, the days of really being here with families and doing things outside. a factor, do you think? you've not really experienced other. >> i've always lived in michigan. i always went home every weekend. it does. i mean, the schedule -- i don't know that it was as much as people sort of reflect back on it. >> a little sentimentality? >> yes. such a deep minority, that we didn't really counte con those years. i was on staff in the 80's and i think it seemed like it was much was.dier than it because the house has changed, it really is a contentious -- vying forthere is a an agenda. and there are different views of how america should move forward have veryrties different perspectives on that. so it is -- you know, it is
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a competitive and tense environment. it's not all bad. but i do think that voters do expect you to be around and be home. and many members do what i have done for 24 years, which is fly back and forth. >> and what will you be doing when you leave? >> i don't know. are in highldren school, so obviously i'm not going to move them, so i'll be living in michigan. i'll be i have not pursued that. i'm still involved in toislation and i'm going wait till i get done voting before i work on that. >> over the past couple of through a pretty serious health scare. >> i did. feeling now?u >> feel great. obviously it's been two years. one of the things that -- one of the most touching things was my chief of staff, his mother died from cancer. been very involved in the leukemia and lymphoma society. raises money for that group by triathlons and iron man contests. he raised enough to name a
8:24 pm grant in my he did a research grant in his mother's name last year. diagnosed, he said, we have a miracle drug and you're going to be better. drug wasn't available five years ago. thatis research piece of is so important. so there's a lot of hope that people have. is -- when you get that diagnosis, sort of the floor falls out. when you hear, gee, we going tothing that's make you better, that gives a lot of hope to people. i had so much support here. i never expected to have to do a press release on a health issue, but it really allowed so many people to pray for me, send me me.tive thoughts, encourage and i think that does make a big difference on getting well. so i was very grateful for that. and i was very grateful for the speaker. he never said you have to step aside as chairman of the committee. i never missed a vote during all of my treatment. and so i'm very grateful for for not really trying to
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say, well, you can't do the job. he always just thought i could the job. so i kind of did. >> give you something else to on, i would imagine. >> sure did. >> going through such an intensive need of the health care system, did it change your perspectives on this, sort of seeing the end result of policy decisions? >> it really made me appreciate how dynamic the research is, in this area. and the doctors were telling me that if i had been diagnosed right now, instead of two years before, that the treatment be improved in that short period of time, so there's changeslly dramatic being made in terms of the medical area and research. see usust don't want to adopt policies that will inhibit that. and i know it's very easy to sort of criticize the large companies that are involved in medicine, but that research is absolutely critical. lives.really does save the u.s. is on the forefront of
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all of that. think that's, you know, really important to do. here, an author who was david mccullough. there was a dinner. and i was at it, and he was speaking. one of the members said -- he was speaking about john adams and history. he said, what's our era going to be known for? he saidmissing a beat, advances in medicine. i just -- it just struck me as somebody as knowledgeable as he is about our history saw also how important that is and how cutting edge we've been as a vote on that. we need to keep that, whether it's n.i.h. or whether it's done the private sector, at research universities, that's going to be a very important part. >> we have only about five left.s you spent a lot of this year on the i.r.s. >> yes. that's an institution affects everybody's lives. what's the state of it today, based on what you've learned? >> if you told me that we
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wouldn't be able to resolve the questions on this in a few that's i would have said not true. this will be very quick. but it's been very difficult to information. what's clear is this did not originate in cincinnati. i.r.s.also clear is the delayed both conservative and progressive groups, about 80% conservative, 20% progressive. but only audited conservative groups. only conservative groups were targeted. just a completely improper role i.r.s. many of the e-mails that we need were from lois lerner, a high-ranking official there. her hard drives were destroyed. but in the last few weeks, 30,000 actually found additional e-mails. now, we don't know if those are part of the e-mails we've allady gotten or those are new. we received about 24,000 of her e-mails to date. the process -- the
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treasury inspector general is in the process of decoding those. they will get those to us. i think once we get through that, we can hopefully move beyond this. so important that this be exposed. and this be fixed, because if allowed to continue, any pollistration will further politicize the i.r.s. need them totely be nonpartisan, nonpolitical, agenda beyond the good government. it's an agency that hasn't been managed very well. an say that's understatement. it's very poorly managed. they need to improve. know, in termsu of the substance, this is an agency that has more than $80 in improper payments. that means checks go to people who don't deserve them. get at some really of these technological issues and reform them. unfortunate that the i.r.s. sort of saw its role way. this what's more unfortunate is management at the i.r.s. seemed to be unaware.
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now, she was in pretty high-level management but we indication that the commissioner of the i.r.s. this.rectly involved in but, again, we don't have all the information. i wouldn't have thought it would have taken us a year and a half but we will eventually get as much as we can. then we'll make a determination from there. did make a referral to the justice department, that the theittee voted to refer information that we had, to have them investigate this, because prosecutors.ot we can highlight issues, bring them to the public attention. but i can't really command like a justice department attorney can. gete asked them to really involved. so far, they've not done anything. >> as we close here, michigan is firepower inof congress with senator levin and leaving.all what does that mean for the state, particularly for the city of detroit, which has been such a long time? >> it has. clearly detroit exiting bigruptcy is going to be a
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improvement. they really now are getting a second chance. it does take time here to learn to sort of make the contacts, and build the to move things forward. so it's going to take time. but we have really good people take our places. our founders really envisioned that in the congress. here andwouldn't come stay forever but you'd come and make your contribution and then and they'll come, bring different perspectives and look at things in new ways. think ultimately it will all be good. short-term, they will lose some of the seniority and the ability they'lla bill up, but be contributing in ways that i think will still benefit the state. >> 26 years is a long time. >> yeah. >> what will you miss the most? just thei think dynamicness of all these issues at you can never watch a clock in this job. at wake up and it's 7 p.m.
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night. but more important, i've worked with really quality people, oflly smart people in terms the staff and the ways and means committee and my personal staff. really decent people that i've gotten to know that are interested innin agricultural issues.r small business i think really the people that and just stepped forward tried to help me understand things or help me move something that part is going to be the part i'm going to miss, because there's nothing like it. it's been very gratifying. 12 incredibly grateful for elections without ever missing a beat, 13 if you count my legislative experience. you don't do that alone. so i'll miss all the help i've had. >> chairman camp, thank you for spending time with c-span. >> thanks, susan. >> california congressman buck mckeon is also retiring. the currently the chair of armed services committee. first elected in 1993. 11 terms.
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in a recent conversation with c-span, he talked about partisanship, sequestration and the medical advances that have helped troops who served in iraq afghanistan. he's known for showing emotion at times, and he talked about why certain things bring him to tears. this is 35 minutes. >> at title you have been your impending your departure. tell me rabbi about how you're g now. now.don't feel emotional i have a couple of problems where i've been talking and a word or a thought, and that i've, things, you know -- always had that problem. i've done better here. i have had callings in
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church where i've had to speak a lot, you know. i'd get emotional. i have a son that we really kid him about being emotional. and we -- we used to make fun of him. this is not a nice thing to even about. but we liked to kid him. and one time, around the dinner said, you know, you're adopted. ha ha! number two. a wonderful young man. he has four children. they're doing a fantastic job with their family. but -- but so it's kind of a family joke, if we can get howard to cry. of course now i've got, you back at mey come the same thing. but it's not a -- i don't said, did you
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make the right decision? do you feel bad? do you think you shouldn't have left? say, no, no. i am totally comfortable with decision. and it isn't the thought of much that i've had problems with. in fact, both times it was -- i my about and, you know, when you think married now 52n years. we have six children. grandchildren and a great-grandchild now. think of all the times over our lives where i've had to leave to go to meetings or something, or you go to an event, and she says, you know, i'm just there. have to hang around. times that she's done that. never, never complained. just -- and so that, when you i think aboutat,
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how selfless really she's been. think about my mom, and i from a very young age. five of i heard my mom say once, from -- she waswas born, she full she never had a night's sleep for the rest of her life. and she was up working. built homes. we were all in business together. and we built homes. all grew up with their cousins like brothers and sisters. deal. a great so mom's home was just three mine.down from and she had a heart attack in night when shehe was in her sewing room working like at 1:00 in the morning, probably making christmas gifts. that was her life.
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she worked like crazy. and dad, a great mom great family. i had a great life before i ever came here. this was a real departure. but it's been great too. i've had great experiences. you meet a lot of really good and some jerks, you know. that --probably people they probably think i'm one of the jerks that they met. but we call it the people's house. and we have representatives that of thent every segment nation. a real, real time.sting educational. great experiences. know, i had only met two congressmen before i became one. did, howclue what they
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they lived. it was just all new to me. learned. day i've interesting. >> so what are the things that you think you'll miss most about this institution? >> oh, the people. i think -- while you don't have don't do a lot of socializing or go hunting or fishing with people. golf with friends. i'll continue to do that. but you get to really see people at their best and at their worst, you know, at different times. this job as chairman of the armed services committee, you really good,ith really good people. staff, tremendous people. withhen the -- i've worked three secretaries of defense that i've had a lot of respect
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for. really enjoyed working with them. theall of the chairmen, commanders. i just had a call from the thankingrom germany, me for what i've done. they're just, you know, people life to service. sure it's the same with policemen, firemen. closely gotten to work with the military. it's just acation, marvel to be with them. >> while we're on this big themes, let me ask the opposite question. what is it about this institution you will miss the least? >> the flights. you know, back and forth to weeklynia almost on a basis now for 22 years. that. not miss i figured out one year kind of was, because it's about a 9-hour trip, portal to portal, going and coming.
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and i figured out how much of my time i spent co doing that and t was like two weeks, 24 hours a day, out of my life, each year. and that's -- i won't miss that. >> now, you've talked to a few departure.bout your it seems two major themes played into your decision. one is the fact that you would have to turn over the gavel of this committee, because of term limits. retrospectk now in that the chairman term limits were a good idea? >> why e. >> yes. >> why? >> we can't one ranking year as, and it's i go on the elevator, and people go, hi, chairman. never had someone say, hi, ranking member. i've been both. thatnk that's something should be corrected. i don't expect it ever will be.
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instance, we could have -- when we lost the there were 2006, four years there that somebody ranking member. then we win the majority and they become chairman, and they have one term. on this committee, we work so closely, majority, minority, that it's really -- we try to a partnership, but it's still not the same. being the ranking member is not chairman.s being the so i think in six years, you able to achieve some a mark, and ie think that's probably enough. that wasn'there, the case. and in fact, democrats had things for 38 straight years. thene had two years and another 30. so there were rooms that republicans had never been in,
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not a single republican had ever the house ofin representatives at the time. unhealthy.probably veryhairmen had gotten powerful, to the point where probably you just get a little arrogant. it just kind of -- at least that's the way i saw it when i a freshman. is herenk term limits and is good. we have term limits in the house of representatives. every two years, we have to stand for election. thathave no qualms with one exception. i think that the ranking member a good change that i don't expect to see. >> the other reason that you've about is, in a broad sense, gridlock, the budget battles. i took that to mean the fights with the tea party a compromiseover
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on the budget area. will you talk a little bit about that, how that stands right now, and what good has come out of it, and where it hurts the process? >> well, that hasn't been so much a problem for me. that's more a problem for leadership. but it's a problem for the think. i if you take the whole congress, we have 380 bills or so that we pass that sit in the senate, and they don't take action on them. i think that's not the way our act.athers expected us to and i think that has been bad. so the idea of getting something done, it gets frustrating. then within our own conference, had times when i really think that -- i'll give you an
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example. my next-door neighbor, up until lucas,my office, frank is in my class. he was elected in a special and he was in our class 21 years ago. and colin peterson did a fantastic job on getting a bipartisanone, a farm bill. and he brought it to our kfns, and it -- to our conference and it wasn't good enough. in food $40 billion stamps. we had never done anything like that in my 22 years. thought that was phenomenal. of we couldn't pass it out the house the way it was. and changeo go back it and go through a lot of process and everything. think, theed out, i final finished product that came through after everything, we billion. and that was just because there are some members of our
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conference that probably nothing be good enough. and that, to me, if i were in leadership, that would be a very frustrating thing. was not good for our nation, you know. sometimes -- i don't ever question people's motives. i get, thee older more forgiving i get of people. think that when you come to a body like this, and i never i didn't serve in the state legislature, so i didn't have that kind of experience. when you come here and you join a team, which the team.ican conference is a democrat caucus is a team. accomplishng to something more than just yourself. and when you come to the realization that you know more than the other 220 or 225 or ten than the othere
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think, why? what do you know that the rest of us don't know? and that's caused some problems. some people, after they're here for a while, say maybe it's better to just try to get maybe i can't get all of what i want. there isn't a bill that i've had with that had everything in it i wanted, or bill that i didn't find something in it i didn't like. but you have to -- the way this process works, each of the members of the house are elected to represent their district. i think each of them should have a say. always tried to work with my ranking members, the other party on the committees i was in, i'd tell the ranking member, look, in the majority.
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we will set the agenda. when we bring bills up, i want to know, what do you think about them? the membersow what of the committee all think, because i think if everybody works together on it, you get a better product. if they had done that with obamacare instead of just doing party, basically disenfranchised almost half the country. and it's caused a lot of of problems.ot and you're much better off, i day, ift the end of the you don't like the some of the can vote them down. but generally, you know, you're up with some good ideas. and they're going to make it better. work together to get it across the finish line. think that's the way to go. thinkthink people that
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that they know more than anybody else or people that think that party should do things, it's not the way that the up.titution was set it's not the way that democracy be.upposed to and i've always tried -- i was from myommittee chair second term on, and i always way, to bead that inclusive, because i think you much better a product. came outher thing that of all of the budget battles, of course sequestration, something fighting toe been rescind, lessen the effects of i'm wondering your no philosophy spending.out defense there are people who worry about the size of our budget and also the likelihood of waste, fraud and abuse within it because of
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sizes of the programs. how do you find the sweet spot, in your mind, between the appropriate level of spending and those concerns that people voice? the last several years, we've really dug a big hole. mean, you know, with president obama, when he came in, i think $10ad a debt of about trillion. and now it's up over $18 trillion. going up, which is what caused sequestration. frustrated. they said, we've got to do something to get a handle on this. i think sequestration was the wrong way to do it. to bring in a principal that was so bad that it was supposed to need it,vator to never to force people to really give and come up with a better solution. in place. put it just cuts everything the same
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so that mowing the lawn at a fort here has the same weight as buying ammunition for somebody on the front line. sense. doesn't make so i'm hopeful that they'll get that taken care of. do have to get our financial house in order. there is no, no question, because if you get yourself so able toebt, you are not have the money to do what you do to carry out all of the responsibilities that you starting with defense. in the lastave seen several years and my time here as chairman, the budgets have the administration, haveequests that they about you know, they talk strategy, but it seems to me that they say, okay, we've got
8:50 pm this is how much defense we can afford. i think it should be, what are threats? how much will it take to meet that? and then come up with the money some way. you know, make it happen. our way out of this totally. to grow the top line. we have to get more people to more people to broaden the tax base, and that's how we're way out ofrk our this. and this recession or slowdown in the economy that seems like now.almost interminable it's gone on and on. even says, well, the economy is picking up, doing better. then i go home and see so many people out of work. sure we've rounded that corner yet. we can -- ithat know the deficit has come down, way too still way,
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high. ofwe totally eliminated all we getget spending that to vote on each year, totally nominated it so we have discretionary budget and are just down to the mandatory aems, we'd still be running deficit of about a half trillion a year. and that's totally unacceptable. yet all of the cutting has come out of the discretionary side. we have not faced up to the fact that we need to fix the spending. that's where the real problem is. so i can think of a lot of things that we need to do, but not in a position -- last position.n't in a i'm obviously not going to be in a position in a week or two from now. but say i could just be king for a week or so. benevolent and nice.
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i'd be a nice king. towe could get people back work, if we could free them from a lot of the bureaucracy and the tape in getting things done, it would be the way to get this thing back in order. you know, during world war ii, we built a pentagon in one year. now, tried to do that first of all, we probably couldn't do it because it's in a swamp and there are probably endangered species. through all of the different court cases and everything and finally turned started building, over.war ii would be probably korea and vietnam would we could do it. in world war ii, we built 86,000 planes in one year. this year, we might build a few hundred. i mean, you know, we've made everything so complicated.
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not just -- not defense i'm talking about. it's everything. system.our education do you have children? >> huh-uh. >> like i said, we have six. got into school, we learned very quickly, you know, you go to kindergarten and to first grade. then you go to second grade. usually in elementary school, they'll have two or three first grade teachers, two or three second grade teachers. you learn quickly that one is others.better than the so my wife became pta president involved at the school and help get our kids into the classes with the better teachers. everyu -- you know, in other business i've ever seen, have a situation. third gradeot three
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teachers. and say one is better. that one might be paid the least. might be the newest, might be the oldest. it doesn't really matter. be that they are paid the least. and yet we put up with that kind of thing, you know. we can't do vouchers until you're 18. you can get a pell grant. all of a sudden it's different. you can go wherever you want. just give you the money. charter schools are a help. on a school board for nine years. upaw these kind of problems close. children,ith our own and now grandchildren. see what my children are doing to help their children get a proper education. it's hard. we've got certain things that just -- this is the way we do it the unions are pretty strong.
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and it's tough. talked to a deputy -- when i was running the very first time, we had a deputy killed in our a drug and i was going to the funeral with three 20-year veterans, sergeants. and they were explaining to me what it was like now, 20 years to when they started 20 years before that. and how much more difficult it gotten for them to do their job. all the different regulations, happened over the years that make it tougher and tougher for them. in some ways, we need to go back and make things a little simpler. when my dad first went into business, he had been working off of apany selling truck, meat. saved enoughe money and he bought a used fish truck. my mom worked all weekend to try to get the smell out of that truck. monday morning -- the
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war had already started. rationed.eing he went down. he had some friends. he was able to buy enough meat truck. up his then he started going around to try to sell it. was inkend, and he business. one day he could have been out of business. but the end of the day, he found somebody that bought everything he had. and that got him started. now to go into business, you've got to go get different licenses permits and, you know, hit this organization, that organization. everything is tougher. taxes that come with all these things. greatestthis is the country in the world, we've got lots of challenges. >> i want to get back to your role here. the week that we're talking is also the week that the u.s. and ended combat missions in afghanistan. i'm wondering what you think this country and its allies andfrom that almost decade
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a half investment in blood and treasure. >> somebody asked me the other day what we've gotten out of ten, twelve years of war. that was spent. lives.a lot. and the >> and one thing, we've made advancement in medical care. we have saved lives that in wars would have been lost. we've come up with these and different things that help make their lives better, about as good as they would have been if they hadn't, as good as-- not they would have been, but better than in the past. i think that's been a great a great thing. unfortunately, we've had to do that, but at least people have made some real improvement. and i think the way people treat military, we learned a tough
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lesson in vietnam, the way they were treated. really treat the military well now. you hear about all these wounded warriors, and housing for wounded warriors and thele that have been in service. a lot of really good things. toancement in the ability fight wars and these kind of unmanned aircraft and unmanned systems, drones on the that find i.e.d.'s and dismantle them, those kind of things. we've made real advancement started out -- there when we started out, people were being killed, have is armorn't on the vehicles. about thated a lot and our ability to fight this war versus, you know, big tank battles. lot.s changed a
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to, with then able abilityforces and their to do different things, we've advancement there. is it good to be fighting war? ask for it.idn't we didn't fly those planes into the tower. they did. we gethink the further away from that, people forget that. sunday was pearl harbor day. 1938.was born in i remember what world war ii was like. a little boy,t as fight.going off to his best friend getting killed. the war, my dad talking to his friends, you war, that had been in the when they'd talk a little bit about some of their experiences to each other.
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talk to us, but i was a little kid, so i could listen. all in, you know. i remember the meat rationing. i remember the meat rationing. i remember my mom couldn't have .oles it we didn't have rubber. they had artificial rubber. ohsaved our grease on this because they took that and used it and were able to turn it and use it for the war effort. things we don't do now -- we have been at war for 100 years, 12 years. it's the 1%. those out fighting.


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